Schizophrenia/Bipolar candidate gene CACNA1C study in rodents: increased anxiety

# Study shows how a psychiatric risk gene can affect brain development


The study, led by Professor Per Uhlén, presents a model and mechanism for how the risk gene CACNA1C can affect brain function and the risk of psychiatric illness.

At Karolinska Institutet, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics, Professor Per Uhlén and colleagues have investigated the role of the calcium (Ca2+) channel gene, CACNA1C, during brain development. Large genetic studies have previously shown that CACNA1C is linked to both bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, but as to how remains unresolved. Under normal circumstances, CACNA1C converts electrical activity into intracellular signals consisting of transient or oscillating changes in the cytosolic Ca2+ concentration, regulating critical biological processes in the cell.


# Disrupted Cacna1c gene expression perturbs spontaneous Ca2+ activity causing abnormal brain development and increased anxiety

The L-type voltage-gated Ca2+ channel gene CACNA1C is a risk gene for various psychiatric conditions, including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. However, the cellular mechanism by which CACNA1C contributes to psychiatric disorders has not been elucidated. Here, we report that the embryonic deletion of Cacna1c in neurons destined for the cerebral cortex using an Emx1-Cre strategy disturbs spontaneous Ca2+ activity and causes abnormal brain development and anxiety.

1 Like